Pete Carroll: Stephen Hauschka can go wherever he wants to go

Seattle Seahawks kicker Stephen Hauschka's time with Seattle is likely to end in the 2017 offseason; although conflicting messages surrounding that possibility have emerged during head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider's media availability.

On Wednesday, Schneider seemingly danced around the idea that Hauschka wouldn't return, after the organization signed former Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh in January.

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He almost termed it as a precautionary measure.

"No it doesn't mean that," he said, during press conference, when asked if the signing meant Hauschka wouldn't be back. "Quite honestly, it's an aspect of unrestricted free agency. You have all your boxes to check. And, I know it seems kind of cold and we take it personally because we have such a personal relationship with these guys. Stephen's been phenomenal and has done a lot of great things for the Seahawks. We have the opportunity to try to check a box with Blair and we'll be looking for somebody else to come in and compete, too. It could be Stephen. I'm not sure."

Schneider added that multiple teams were after Walsh when they brought him in for a work out, implying the opportunity to bring in the kicker had a immediate expiration date.

While his general manager played coy with Hauschka's future, Carroll did no such thing, when he talked about Hauschka and Walsh with the News Tribunes Gregg Bell, following his Thursday press conference.

The striking part of Carroll's comments was the thought of Walsh as an example of improving the team.

Both had mental woes in 2016 but Hauschka actually overcame his to a degree. Walsh was 12-16 on field goals and 15-19 on extra points and was cut by November while Hauschka went 33-37 on field goals and 29-35 on extra points and was able to to kick in the postseason where he was 8-9 total on all of his kicks.

It should also be noted that most of Hauschka's misses were blocks not outright misses, which could suggest Walsh's headgames may be less fixable. But, Schneider doesn't believe that'll be the case.

"It was a discussion. I'd be lying if I told you it wasn't but he's a very confident guy on his visit," he said. "The year before he was a Pro Bowler, I believe. He's gone a streak where I think he's hit like 17 of 17. He's got a lot of talent and there's certain boxes we had to check before we moved forward with it."

The Seahawks may have peace of mind that Hauschka won't leave them without a backup plan in place. But, Hauschka certainly has no peace of mind that he'll get his market value out of Seattle. He most definitely will have to look elsewhere for that.

The Walsh signing definitely means that if nothing else.

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